Marketing Operations & Production
Direct Mail
Man and woman working on a whiteboard with post-it notes
Driving efficiency through better production planning and simplification

Empowering teams to break down long-established processes.

The newly-formed Supporter Marketing & Engagement team at British Red Cross (BRC) wanted to put the supporter at the heart of their communications. They needed new skills and processes to streamline their communication programme to make their messaging more timely and resonant with their audiences.

With 20 complex direct mail campaigns draining precious resources, the team knew they needed to simplify their offline direct response programme and introduce more efficient and flexible ways of working. Shorter print lead times were vital so that the messaging of their communications could be changed quickly, at short notice, for greater impact and relevancy.

Taking on a more strategic role, Signal’s job was to improve agility across the end-to-end process for print and mail communications.

Campaign lead times reduced by
A diagram showing the change in team structure over the course of the project

We simplified processes to achieve lower costs and shorter lead times.

By getting involved much earlier, and getting buy-in and direction from the senior team, we focussed our attention on simplifying and streamlining three key areas to make processes simpler for the BRC team.

As a result of these initiatives, lead times and costs have been significantly reduced across planned and unplanned communications. The time between planning and packs landing has been radically reduced so supporters are receiving much more relevant and effective communications.

The new ways of working have been a huge success with DM pack costs reduced by 50%

Our first six months of working with BRC in this way have enabled a 50% reduction in DM pack price.

Lead times have shortened significantly with a 30% reduction in overall campaign lead times and a 60% reduction in letter copy lead time to give the team more flexibility to update messaging.

And across the board, we've freed up the team’s time, helping them spend more time planning their jobs and less time deploying them.

What’s more, we know this shift - more connected planning, simpler packs, shorter lead-times and more relevant and timely messaging – has been a significant factor in improving response rates, average gifts and overall campaign performance

Removing cost and effort from established direct mail programmes creates the room for transformation - and drives better performing campaigns.

More together

We’ve worked successfully with British Red Cross since 2007. In 2017 we started advising on a more strategic level, focusing on marketing operations and the production of their direct mail programmes.

Since 2019, we’ve moved our relationship upstream, getting involved with planning earlier. We work with a broader mix of stakeholders and now help the supporter marketing and engagement team by providing consultancy, workshops, agile coaching and on-site project management support.

An outdated approach was starting to hold our programme back. We’re now able to be more creative in how we deploy more timely, relevant and impactful messages to our different supporter groups.
Rebecca Shore
Head of Supporter Engagement
British Red Cross
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